What is Network Fabric?

[What Is] Network Fabric: Automation & Monitoring

Network fabric describes a mesh network topology with virtual or physical network elements, forming a single fabric.

What is it?

This trivial metaphor does not do justice to the industry term, which describes the performance and functionality of mostly L2 & L3 network topologies. For nodes to be interconnected and reach equal connectivity between each other, the term network fabric (NF) completely omits L1 (trivial) networks.

Primary performance goals include:

  • Abundancy – sufficient bandwidth should be present, so each node achieves equal speed when communicating in the topology
  • Redundancy – a topology has enough devices, to guarantee availability and failure coverage
  • Latency – as low as it can get

For enterprises with a lot of different users and devices connected via a network, maintaining a network fabric is essential to keep up with policies, security, and diverse requirements for each part of a network.

A network controller, like OpenDaylight, or lighty.io, would help see the entire network as a single device – creating a fabric of sorts.

Types & Future

A network topology would traditionally consist of hardware devices – access points, routers, or ethernet switches. We recognize two modern variants:

  1. Ethernet NF – an ethernet, which recognizes all components in a network, like resources, paths & nodes.
  2. IP Fabric – utilizes BGP as a routing protocol & EVPN as an overlay

The major enabler of modernizing networking is virtualization, resulting in virtual network fabric. 

Virtualization (based on the concept of NFVs – network function virtualization), replaces hardware in a network topology with virtual counterparts. This in turn enables:

  • Reduced security risks & errors
  • Improved network scaling
  • Remote maintenance & support

lighty.io: Network Fabric Management & Automation

Migrating to a fabric-based, automated network is easy with PANTHEON.tech.

lighty.io provides a versatile & user-friendly SDN controller experience, for your virtualized NF.

With ease-of-use in mind and powered by JavaSE, lighty.io is the ideal companion for your NF virtualization plans.

Network controllers, such as lighty.io, help you create, configure & monitor the NF your business requires.

If OpenDaylight is your go-to platform for network automation, you can rely on PANTHEON.tech to provide the best possible support, training, or integration.


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